As many of you know, Google Plus is the new, much-talked-about social networking site created by Google that saw unprecedented growth after it’s invitation-only launch on June 28, 2011. The following are 3 lessons small businesses can learn from the marketing of their site.
In a time where most of us would say we are overwhelmed as it is with time spent on social networking sites, Google Plus was able to create desire and convert that desire into 10 million users in just 13 days after their invite-only launch. When there is an abundance of something, in this case, social networking sites, guess who’s in the drivers seat? The person who has the choice. One way of converting a discriminating customer into one who will desire your products and services is to make access to you scarce.
In combination with their invitation-only strategy was the decision to provide those invites to key influencers first. The concept is that when social influencers notify their network that they are trying something new, that only they can access, it amplifies desire within their communities as well as buzz. Invite influencers first and the rest will follow.
Google Plus offers some key differences from other social networking sites. Differences that solve problems for many social media users. For instance, one key feature is Circles – the ability to organize your connections into groups and to share content with select groups and not everyone in your social graph. It was not only different, but was meaningful. Had they simply been another me-too site, it’s likely that the influencers in the first wave of invitations would have been highly critical and negative, burning any chance of Google Plus growing their footprint.
Scarcity and social influence marketing on their own can be disastrous without differentiation and meaning. Influencers are savvy and have built their social influence by building trust within their communities. Businesses need to earn the right to be advocated.
Google Plus’ strategy is not right for every business, but they do offer some great nuggets that every small business can take note of. Have you tried any tactics that have worked for your event business?
Photo via Róséttá
Recently, after attending a conference, I received a 10 page survey asking me what I thought about the event. In it, I was asked about speakers, food, accommodations, every one of the social events, the location of the event, the price of the event, and a vast array of other questions. It took me over 15 minutes to fill out this survey. Although I had rated many items under expectations and although I had provided ideas on improvement, it was the last time I heard from the event until they sent me an email promoting the following year’s conference.
This is the equivalent of asking someone how happy they are with your business, they say they’re not, you say nothing & walk away. Then, you walk up to them and say, “Hey! Come and do business with us again. It’s going to be great.”
The emphasis of surveys is on data collection, not happiness. This is the core issue. But there are a few others…
In business, we place great value in surveys. The result is too many surveys with too many questions.
It seems logical to ask as many questions as possible while you have someone focused on filling out your customer satisfaction survey. But do more questions equal better insights? The answer is no. There are many studies that show that too many questions lead to inaccurate data.
Based on a tremendous amount of research and analysis of hundreds of companies, the single question that is directly attributed to the future success of a business is: How likely is it that you would recommend our company / event to a friend or colleague? (on a scale from 0-10).
Trying to answer what you thought of something days or weeks after you experienced it is very difficult to do.
Just the other day, I was sent a survey asking me what I thought of the 8 education events I went to see over a 2 day period. My feedback was mediocre at best. Sessions bled into each other, my brain had now forgotten most of the session content and all I could provide were insights into a very vague recollection. How valuable was this information for the conference and the speakers?
Timing is very important when surveying customers. Identify when the optimal time is to poll customers. Is it while they’re experiencing your product, service or event? Directly after? Or, only once they have had an opportunity to live with it for a while?
If your goal is to create loyal customers, you can’t do this until you consistently eliminate areas of dissatisfaction. In the first example I provided, I submitted survey insights sharing my dissatisfaction and never heard from anyone again. In other words, I remained a dissatisfied customer. If the event organizer’s goal was to use my insights to fix problems in the next event, unfortunately I’ll never experience them because it’s likely I won’t attend again.
Studies show that it takes 6-7 customers to replace an existing one. It can be expensive and time consuming to acquire a new customer, so it should be every business’s goal to retain existing ones. When there is a follow up system, surveys can be the launching pad to converting unhappy customers into delighted ones.
Just imagine if they had contacted me after I filled out their survey to thank me for my insights, told me they heard my feedback, probed for more information and indicated they are working on improvements. Imagine if they had asked: Would I like to be followed up with once improvements were determined and, would I like to get involved in helping to create improvements? In this scenario, would I then have attended their next event? It’s a heck of a lot more probable I would than if they had never contacted me at all.
According to The Loyalty Effect, 60-80% of defectors stated they were satisfied or very satisfied on a survey before they defect.
The goal in business should not be to have a satisfied customer. Satisfaction means that you delivered what they expected. And just because you’ve met my expectations does not mean I’m going to do business with you again. The goal should be to identify evangelists and detractors. Evangelists sing your business’s or event’s praises to others. They become your volunteer sales force. They’re directly linked to growth. Detractors are unhappy with you. They too will tell others about you, but instead of singing your praises, it’s likely they’ll warn others not to do business with you.
If you’re focused on growth, and directly linking survey insights with financial results, narrow your focus to growing evangelists and reducing detractors.
Photo via henribergius
Wouldn’t you love to create copy that sells? Copy that makes your customers salivate, reach for their wallet and slam their credit card down, exclaiming “Charge it!”? I talk about this all the time. Case in point, a recent post on supercharging your web copy with personality.
Well, salivate over this copy. It appeared in Esquire’s latest issue and was a review of the 2012 Ferrari FF.
“…A new 691 horse – yes, that’s almost 700 hp – V-12 just inches behind your spinal column, erupting into a nuclear-hellfire Satan’s-breath ear assault the moment you flex your right foot. That much power makes the kind of argument you cannot hope to rebut. You have to give in to temptation. So you nail it, and then you nail it again. When you have pulled your head out of the three-inch-deep hyperspace dent it made in the headrest…the entire universe collapses around you and your toes turn to pudding and you decide to sell everything you own, even the kids, and buy one of these things just so you can have that feeling every day.”
It is storytelling at its finest. This copy doesn’t spout off every last feature of the car, it walks you through a narrative that explodes with visuals. It convinces you that you are actually experiencing, feeling, hearing, tasting every last detail.
Although I’d love to say that I dropped everything and ran out to buy this Ferrari, I quickly realized that the almost $400,000 price tag was a wee bit out of my budget. But I am salivating (after all, a bib is far cheaper).
The next time you write copy for your business remember this: Facts tell. Stories sell.
Photo via J from the UK
This weekend I’ll be presenting 2 sessions at MPI WEC 2011 in Orlando, FL. I’m really excited about these two topics. A Brand New World will inspire event businesses to create a powerful brands (even in commoditized categories) that attract, engage and excite. Getting SMART About Social Media is not just another social media session. There will be no ‘how to build a facebook fan page’ or useless statistics thrown around. This session is focused on how to use social media to drive sales. Period.
I hope you come out to both sessions. I guarantee, whether you’re a newbie to branding & social media or a pro, you will learn great tools and ideas. Plus you’ll get a very special offer if you’re in my session (wink, wink).
Sunday, July 24, 2011 . 8:30am
Sunday, July 24, 2011 .
Will you be at MPI WEC 2011?
It’s never been more important to build raving fans. After all, we trust what other people like us have to say about brands more than what brands have to say about themselves.
Photo via AngelsWings
For the second year I’ve been approached by Amiando to preview their Social Media & Events report (last year’s report was How to Make the Most Out of Twitter). Before I share my insights on the findings, I felt it necessary to provide some context not included in the report on who was polled and how. Each of these factors contribute to the quality of the data and its relevance to you and your business (see my previous post for event planners on the importance of understanding the information behind statistics and data).
There are a few very important considerations to keep in mind when reviewing the findings. Namely:
Click to access the Social Media & Events Report 2011
For more detail on the answers to my report questions, please read on…
In part 2 of my report, I will break down some of the findings as well as some insights for event planners using or thinking of using social media.